A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
NASA logo carnegie institution logo JHU APL logo

Why Mercury?
The Mission
Gallery
Education
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
FAQs
Related Links
Contacts
Home

Download iPhone/iPad app Explore orbital data with quickmap Question and Answer Mercury Orbit Insertion Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews



Mapping Beethoven
Click on image to enlarge.
Mapping Beethoven
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Topics: Volcanism, WAC, XRS



At top, the white line highlights the region of Mercury’s surface visible to the XRS during a solar flare on 16 June 2011. Near the center is the ~650-km-diameter Beethoven impact basin at 21° S, 236° E. This region has a higher Mg/Si ratio than the northern plains and is closer in composition to terrestrial komatiites, low-silica, high-temperature volcanic rocks that formed only very early in Earth’s history.

Below, smooth plains within the same area have been mapped. In green are plains of volcanic origin. These plains display flooding and embayment relationships and color contrasts typical of volcanic plains on Mercury. Yellow denotes plains of uncertain origin. Though they may also be volcanic, they lack definitive evidence for a volcanic origin and may have formed as fluidized impact ejecta, possibly from the Beethoven impact basin, or as impact melt. In blue are plains that formed when rock was melted by impacts. Even geologically complex regions, such as the area seen here, are often dominated by volcanic deposits, and their compositions are consistent with a volcanic origin.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington


For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.


   

   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2014 by JHU/APL